A resilient workforce needs systems, processes, people, and technology that are aligned behind common goals and values, and that are robust but flexible.
Rigid processes and inflexible working practices need to evolve, enabling organisations to be primed for constant change.
But this flexibility must not undermine organisational strength. Maintaining a strong organisational alignment and robust processes is essential, particularly across areas such as compliance and financial management.
The essential elements of resilience
We believe a resilient organisation needs the following characteristics.
- Ability to adapt quickly to changes in external environment (such as digital disruption, economic shocks and new legislation).
- Capacity to flex without breaking (such as scaling up and down, reconfiguring the organisation and reallocating resources in response to new opportunities).
- Efficiency embedded in every part of the operation to stay competitive, particularly when faced with newer, digital-first or low-cost competitors.
- Strong core culture and ethos to maintain a shared sense of cohesion and purpose, even while buffeted by external forces and the need for rapid change.
- Engaged and motivated employees with the right skills and support to work at their best, all of the time.
- Strong leadership from managers who lead by example and with empathy and emotional intelligence, to drive a culture of change and instill resilience in others. If employees are not inspired to take a proactive role, the ability of the organisation to react to external changes will be reduced.
Resilient organisations need to make the most of their biggest asset: their people. Individuals have proven time and again that they are infinitely adaptable, but they need to be enabled and supported if they are to thrive. For example, employees need ongoing development to keep their skills relevant in a changing world.
Adaptability in the workplace sometimes lags behind the way people live outside of work. Organisations need to develop and support their people so that they are as open to change in the workplace as they are at home.